(Around these parts, just like on tv, summertime means reruns. This is from last September.)

You all know the type. They might as well just walk in the door with their hand up. Actually some sort of do. They are the question machines, also known as IHAQ’s (pronounced I Hacks).

“I have a question.”

They have a question about EVERYTHING, many times BEFORE you even start talking. I have a couple of serious IHAQ’s this year. One girl would be a lock to win one of those challenges on Survivor where you have to keep your hand over your head or your bucket of water puts out your fire or something.

I have a question. Actually I have four. Is that ok?

One: Why do they always say, “I have a question”? Of course you have a question; that’s why you raised your hand. And if you have a comment, rather than a question,  you can still just raise your hand, and make your comment. You don’t have to preface it with, “I have a comment.” It’s like those kids who think a conclusion to an essay sounds like this, “…And that’s why I think cheese-making should be an elective in the seventh grade wheel…” Well, duh.

Two: When the hand is up, what is he thinking about? This one I know the answer to. I can guarantee that kid is not listening to you. He’s thinking about the burning question that he just can’t wait until you’re done to ask. And sometimes, he’s not even doing that. He did have a question at one time, but it’s a lot of work to keep remembering what he was  going to ask while Mr. Coward blathers on, so he drifts off a bit, and the hand just stays up.


“Ummm…I was going to ask… Ummm… I forgot.”

“And what was I just talking about?”


A common sight in my room is my put-your-hand-down wave. It’s like pantomiming a couple of whacks on the head.

“I’m still talking. Let me finish. THEN you can ask questions I have already given you the answers to. Right now, all you’re doing is thinking about your question. ”

“Nuh uh.”

Three: What is up with the preemptive question?

“Ok. Today, we’re going to — ‘Samantha,’ what could you possibly have a question about already? I haven’t even started saying anything yet.”

“How many for the warm up?”

“I will  get to that in about 15 seconds, LIKE I ALWAYS DO.”

“I just wanted to make sure.”

Uh huh.

Four: Can we talk about timing? The instructions are on the display, I just explained them again, I have accounted for every possible angle, I even did the obligatory, “Are there any questions?”  Then I say, “I’m setting the timer for 5 minutes…Go!”


“I have a question.”

“Did you not hear, “Are there any questions?”

“But I didn’t have a question then.”